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NOAA's Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary will conduct a research mission aboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster May 18 to June 8. Please join us here as we report on the activities and findings of this exciting mission.
Video from Day 3 (Quicktime, 15.9MB)
Video: Paul Chetirkin/NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Click here for more videos.
The days at sea are divided into two cruises (or "legs") because the science missions of each are so diverse. Tagging and tracking of reef fish, habitat mapping, invertebrate studies, marine debris and CO2 monitoring, and fish predation behaviors are among the investigations a team of more than 20 scientists, staff and volunteers from universities and state and federal agencies will be conducting during the two legs of the cruise. Research conducted aboard the Nancy Foster directly contributes to management of the sanctuary.
Accomplishing the ambitious goals of this mission requires a sizable team. Participants in the first part of this cruise represent the following organizations:
Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef Team Ocean Volunteer Dive Program
NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Region
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Savannah State University
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
University of Georgia's Center for Applied Isotope Studies
University of Georgia's Marine Extension Service
Check back to this site, as we will be posting mission logs, photos and videos taken during the cruise.
About the Sanctuary
NOAA's Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRMS) is one of the largest near-shore live-bottom reefs off the southeastern United States, encompassing approximately 22 square miles or about 14,000 acres. It is the only natural reef area protected offshore of the Georgia coast. The live bottom and ledge habitat support an abundant reef fish and invertebrate community. Loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species, also use Gray's Reef year-round for foraging and resting, and the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale is occasionally seen in the sanctuary.